A flight can be the most memorable part of someone’s vacation for many reasons, some of which are not pleasant – turbulence, lost luggage, delays, and annoying passengers. Whenever there is a problem passengers usually turn to customer service representatives for help. But what happens when they hang up on you or say “I don’t know what to tell you.”
Forget about contacting United Airlines via email if you want to get in touch with customer service. Chances are you will not get a response at all, according to GetVoIP data. You’re much better off picking up the phone — the average wait time is two minutes and 24 seconds. United also made the top three on our list of Airlines Most Likely to Lose Your Luggage.
This international airline is listed as No. 8 among the carriers with the worst customer service in the Travel + Leisure survey. “I think Air India customer support is the worst I have ever seen. Practically there is no respect to customers. Nobody answers on the telephone #s provided on proprietary irregularity report. It rings several times and gets disconnected,” according to a review on ConsumerAffairs.com.
The flag carrier of Egypt ranked seventh in the category with the worst customer service, according to Travel + Leisure. Many travelers give EgyptAir low scores because of its rude staff. One person wrote on AirlineRatings.com: “Nairobi front office staff are the worst customer service staff ever! They are loud, abusive, extremely rude and unprofessional. They have absolutely no communication competencies.”
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The Mexican low-cost airline based in Santa Fe is No. 6 when it comes to bad customer service. Many passengers have written about bad experiences. According to a review from AirlineRating.com, a customer asked to speak with a supervisor and no one was available — neither a name nor number was provided. Most people gave the carrier one star for client services.
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Royal Air Maroc, or RAM as it is more commonly known, is the Moroccan national carrier, as well as the country’s largest airline. Travel + Leisure ranked it the fifth-worst airline when it comes to customer service. “Still waiting for the delay report for my travel insurance company, but no answer for 2 month[s] already. Customer service just does not give any answers to my repeated requests,” one person wrote on AirlineQuality.com.
People prefer this carrier for the many cheap options. Service has improved compared to what it was three or four years ago, but a lot more needs to be done. “They need to change the website to ‘Buyer beware and we do not provide customer service or support,’” a review on ConsumerAffairs.com reads. Another says: “If you ever have to contact customer services it is a nightmare, particularly if they owe you money. Invariably they ignore emails and if they do reply they suggest you call them. Trying to call them is almost impossible without at least a 20-minute wait.”
The ultra-low cost carrier headquartered in Denver does not have a good reputation when it comes to dealing with passengers. The domestic carrier is the third-worst, according to Travel + Leisure. GetVoIP doesn’t give them a much better review, either. Passengers wait for three hours and 18 minutes on average for an email reply and for six minutes and seven seconds on the phone, according to data. Frontier is also on the list of airlines likely to lose your luggage and those offering the most and least leg room.
You have two options: Either email Allegiant’s customer service and wait 21 hours and 19 minutes for a response, or call them and wait on hold for an average of 14 minutes and 41 seconds, according to GetVoIP data. Travel + Leisure ranked the carrier as the second-worst for customer service. “[I] sat on hold waiting for a travel adviser for 1 hour and 28 minutes and counting now. I cannot imagine how a company can possibly view this as customer service,” a person wrote on AirfareWatchdog.com.
Spirit Airlines rarely gets good feedback. T+L readers ranked it the carrier with the worst customer service in the world. “While I understand that mechanical issues and delays can happen from time to time - I can't say that I comprehend the total lack of customer service from Spirit in the face of adversity,” one person wrote on Yelp. Another person wrote: “They still have the nerve to try to nickel and dime their customers? I am in shock that they are still in business!”
GetVoIP data shows that JetBlue’s customer service does not get back to people if they chose email as a way of communicating with the carrier. The average wait time if you call is eight minutes and 30 seconds, the third-worst behind Delta and Allegiant. JetBlue is also on our list of airlines with the most hidden fees.
Call the company if you ever need to get in touch with Alaska airlines. Do not email; you won’t get a response. You’ll be on hold for one minute and 13 seconds, which is the shortest time, according to GetVoIP data. “Customer service people acted like I should apologize to them for bothering them with an obvious problem,” a review on AirfareWatchdog.com says. “Funny thing is when I got to the airport I automatically went to Southwest and tried to check in. When the agent realized I was on Alaska she said ‘oh you'll be back’ and laughed! Guess she was right, I'll never fly Alaska again!”
Southwest ranked in the lower end of the middle in both response time via email (71 hours and 35 minutes) and call wait time (seven minutes and 25 seconds). “The gate agents are rude; the customer service contact is nonexistent. The only people you can reach via the phone are reservation people and they have been instructed not to take complaints as NO ONE AT SOUTHWEST HEADQUARTERS WILL CALL YOU BACK,” according to one review on AirlineRatings.com.
Hawaiian fared slightly better than Southwest in email response time at 46 hours and 56 minutes. Customers have reported having to wait “two to three hours with multiple hang-ups from various customer service representatives” before getting someone to actually help them. Some even got a reply saying “I don't know what to tell you.” Most people summarize their experience as “nonexistent customer service.”
Virgin America will take about 16 hours and 20 minutes to get back to you via email, according to GetVoIP, and will keep you on hold for about 4 minutes on average. What happens after they pick up the phone is a different matter. People write of many horrible experiences, including rude staff and hang-ups. A passenger wrote that his family trip was “nearly ruined by horrible customer service and unprofessionalism.”
Delta ranked among the worst when it came to being kept on hold — nine minutes and 17 seconds on average, but some people report waiting for up to two hours — but among the “best” when it came to customer service getting back to you via email (11 hours and 44 minutes). “Their customer service is doing almost nothing!!! They don't answer my phone calls. I wish I never choose this airline to fly!!!” wrote one reviewer on ConsumerAffairs.com.